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Destination FXBG – Reclaim Arcade

Reclaim PinballWhen I was a kid, my dad used to take me to play Galaga at Fashion Square Mall in Charlottesville. It was a great bonding experience for both of us, although I am pretty sure he was just hoping to beat his score from high school. That is why I was so excited to tell my dad about Reclaim Arcade in Fredericksburg, where he can play Galaga all day, in addition to so many other arcade games. 

When I first walked into Reclaim Arcade, I was confused in the best way possible. From the entry room, it appeared that I had entered a Blockbuster from the 1990s. Owner Tim Owens has designed the first room of Reclaim Arcade as a VHS store, to convey that retro feel that he has championed throughout his business. I then passed through an old fashioned replica of a 1980s living room, where Owens and I sat down to chat about how Reclaim Arcade came to be. 

Like many new businesses in Fredericksburg, the opening of Reclaim Arcade had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After contemplating the next steps for his business, Owens decided to open the arcade to limited capacity with reservations. Making sure to follow Covid precautions, Reclaim Arcade safely opened in January of 2021. It was immediately met with resounding enthusiasm from the community, and became a hit in Fredericksburg. 

That following May, once vaccines became available, Owens began their current payment and capacity system, where guests can purchase $15 day-passes and stay as long as they want; all of the games are free once you purchase the day-pass. Reclaim Arcade also has membership options, which is a flat rate for seasonal, annual, or lifetime members. With these models, Reclaim Arcade has achieved resounding success. 

Owens is proud of the retro arcade that he has created for Fredericksburg. He has been collecting these arcade games for years, finding them through online groups and forums. From popular games like Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga, to more obscure games like Vanguard and Pengo, Owens wants Reclaim Arcade to be a fun attraction for both general enthusiasts and hardcore gamers. His focus is on games from the mid-90s and before, as he wants his arcade to bring a sense of the past to all who visit. 

“It’s just like a one-two-three punch of nostalgia,” he said. 

Reclaim Arcade plays host to a number of events, including Ladies Night Pinball Tournament and Emo Night. According to Owens, both events were amazing to host and experience. They also host pinball tournaments on the last Thursday of every month, which are intended to be fun for both experienced and newcomer pinball players. Owens is always looking for fun theme nights and tournaments to host, including an exciting Halloween bash. 

I had a blast at Reclaim Arcade, as I played Stranger Things-themed pinball. I also played Galaga, which brought me back to the days of playing with my dad at the mall. And based on what Owens said about his business, that is the precise goal of Reclaim Arcade. 

“Kids can have fun, and adults can have fun,” Owens said, “and there’s not a lot of places where that can happen.”

Reclaim Arcade is located at 2324 Plank Road. Follow them on Facebook